EDGEFIELD, SC – The National Wild Turkey Federation awarded Gary W. Norman of Virginia with the Wayne Bailey Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Wayne Bailey made significant contributions to wild turkey research and management,” Norman said. “His works have helped wild turkey managers across the country do a better job with wild turkey conservation. I am obviously very honored and humbled to receive the Wayne Bailey Lifetime Achievement Award.”
After earning his bachelor’s in wildlife science from West Virginia University in 1978 and a master’s in wildlife science from Virginia Tech in 1980, Norman began working for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources as an assistant district biologist. He would later go on to work for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources as the Forest Game Bird Project leader.
Over the past 38 years, Norman has authored or co-authored some 40 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and edited the 10th National Wild Turkey Symposium proceedings.
In addition to Norman’s contributions to wild turkey research, he has served on the NWTF Technical Committee for many years. Norman was the primary facilitator in developing a memorandum of understanding between the NWTF and VDWR, which designates the NWTF to administer funds to complete habitat work on the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.
Norman retired from the VDWR in March 2020 with 33 years of service to the state of Virginia and 40 years total as a wildlife professional.
“I have benefited greatly from the professional development I have received from the NWTF Technical Committee,” Norman said. “The committee, organized and managed by Dr. James Earl Kennamer, provided invaluable networking, information sharing and advice from experts. I have also benefitted personally with friendships that have come from fellow NWTF members whom I share a passion for wild turkey hunting and concern for their management.”
The Wayne Bailey Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a wildlife biologist, trapper or wildlife manager who has devoted his or her career to the wild turkey and played a major role in the turkey’s restoration and management.
The NWTF announced Norman’s award during the 45th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show held virtually in 2021.
“Gary’s illustrious career as a wildlife manager and his devotion to the wild turkey has earned him this lifetime achievement,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “We are grateful for all his contributions in Virginia and to wild turkey research as a whole.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters' rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.